7.45pm Local government: New poll gives Boris a 12% lead, biggest of campaign

6.15pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: "When someone says "Folk should not be permitted to criticise my conduct, as I am incapable of behaving otherwise", there is a lot at stake – an entire vision of society.  No mainstream Christian could ever accept this, and if one wants to allow mainstream Christians in one's society, that Christians will not accept this is something one really must get over." The true person is the actor, not the feeler.

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 18.00.406pm WATCH: Cameron to Skinner – "He has the right at any time to take his pension – and I advise him to do so."

5.15pm MPsETC: Boss (Bercow) gives Man (Cameron) bad day at the office. So Man kicks Cat (Miliband).

3.15pm WATCH: Daniel Hannan MEP – ‪The case for ethnographic frontiers‬

10am Local Government:

ToryDiary: The Cameroons can't beat the Right and the Right can't beat the Cameroons – but we need to get along better

Columnist Bruce Anderson: France's election choice is between a jackanapes and a dunderhead

Annesley Abercorn on Comment: An urgent, coherent strategy is needed from the Government in order to save the Great British Pub

Majority Conservatism: How Conservatives might reach the North and address its "party of the rich" challenge

Local Government:

WATCH: Lord Heseltine on the UK economy

Cameron: Eurozone may face collapse

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 05.02.49"David Cameron issued a stark warning yesterday that the eurozone is facing a renewed threat of collapse as he blamed economic woes on the Continent for Britain's double-dip recession. In comments which will infuriate other European leaders ahead of elections in France and Greece next weekend, the Prime Minister said Europe was not "anywhere near half-way through" its currency crisis. And he predicted that the euro could yet fall apart as countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy struggle to cope with the economic constraints imposed upon them." – The Independent

  • Pickles battles "EU order to fly its flag every day" – Daily Express
  • Monetary union has created intolerable economic stress. Germany must decide if it wants the euro to survive – Times Editorial (£)

> Yesterday:

Local elections loom on Thursday

"David Cameron will face one of his toughest tests this week as his party goes into the local elections after a month of bad headlines, trailing Labour in the polls and with a cabinet minister’s career in the balance. Voters will on Thursday elect local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, and the Conservative party is bracing itself to lose up to 350 council seats after the coalition’s most challenging month yet." – Financial Times (£)

Lib Dems look for salvation in shape of Tories’ disarray

Clegg on Marr"The string of problems hitting the Tories could save the Liberal Democrats from a catastrophic meltdown in this Thursday’s local elections, party chiefs claimed yesterday. The Lib Dems are still expecting to lose up to half their 650 council seats in England and Wales as voters continue to blame Nick Clegg for joining the coalition. They could do even worse in Scottish local elections. But Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Liberal Democrat councillors in England and Wales, said that in the past two weeks there had been signs on the doorstep that voters were blaming the coalition’s current woes on the Conservatives rather than their partners." – The Times (£)

  • Livingstone confident of win despite polls – Financial Times (£)
  • Boris Johnson has 'question marks' over budget, says Kit Malthouse – The Guardian
  • Pedal power gives bike riders key place in mayoral contest – The Times (£)
  • Energy bills, fuel duty and tax top voters' concerns – The Independent
  • SNP and Labour both claim poll lead – Scotsman
  • Cameron has to win back the benefit of the doubt – Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Prime Minister warned that gay marriage support will cost votes

"David Cameron was warned yesterday against ignoring the views of his party’s traditional backers.The warning came after a poll suggested his support for gay marriage could cost the Tories between eight and 30 seats in a general election. The survey was for the Coalition For Marriage, which campaigns against same-sex couples marrying on equal terms to heterosexuals.  Opposition was very strong among people who voted Tory in 2010 but are intending to support other parties." – Daily Express 

The many are losing the unequal struggle: Charles Moore reviews Ferdinand Mount's new book on how oligarchies now run BritainDaily Telegraph 

Conservative party's 301 radicals seek to shake up 1922 status quo

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 07.08.16"The group will on Monday show it is reshaping the Conservative parliamentary party when it takes the distinctly un-Tory step of publishing a slate of candidates for the elections to the executive of the 1922 committee. Candidates of all ages and intakes will be put forward to modernise the "antique" backbench committee, which has a hierarchical structure whereby new MPs have to defer to longer-serving colleagues in the weekly meetings." – The Guardian

  • Kris Hopkins, Charlie Elphicke and George Hollingberry plan "seismic chang" to oust "bloody rude" old guard – The Guardian

In praise of…Iain Duncan SmithGuardian Editorial

Cameron must make the Conservative Party look like the nation

"Voters would love tougher action on crime, but fear the government won't deliver. Again, the deficit makes things harder, but the government could make some symbolic first steps. How about introducing much tougher penalties for hate crimes? After all, when there is disorder and crime it is not the rich or strong who suffer, but the weak, the poor, and those who are "different". It would be tough and fair. These are the values that should shape the next phase of tory modernisation." – Neil O'Brien, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Majority Conservatism – "For the rich. Selfish. Rubbish." Lord Ashcroft's new study shows what ethnic and religious minorities think of the Conservative Party. (But it's not all bad news, especially among Hindus and Sikhs…)

Labour's Lord Hutton unveiled as leader of Government's 'John Lewis' reform of public bodiesDaily Mail 

Paul Goodman: How Cameron should deal with UKIP

"What is clear is that Mr Cameron’s best means of stopping Ukip have less to do with Europe than with keeping the promises he signed up to in the coalition agreement all those months ago. In particular, he should concentrate on getting immigration from outside the EU down to tens of thousands of people. Mr Cameron must also convince voters that crime really is falling. The next election will be tight. If he fails to focus on the issues that voters genuinely care about, Ukip could deprive him of the handful of seats essential for him to return to No 10." – Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Cameron's ratings have collapsed, UKIP could cost the Tories 30 seats… but there is SOME good news in the opinion polls

Labour councillor under fire after being pictured holding a rocket launcherThe Sun

Jeremy Hunt: Cameron plays for time…

Screen shot 2012-04-30 at 07.28.19
"David Cameron has said he is ready to order an inquiry into whether Jeremy Hunt broke strict ministerial rules – but only after the Culture Secretary has given evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. The PM said he will "act" if evidence emerges from Mr Hunt's testimony that the ministerial code was broken. The PM also insisted there was no "grand deal" with Rupert Murdoch for force through the BSkyB deal in return for the support of News International newspapers." – The Sun

  • Labour will press Cameron to come to the Commons today over Hunt – The Guardian
  • ‘Criminal’ BSkyB could lose licence, says Harman – The Times (£)
  • "Tory and Labour members of the culture select committee are at odds over how far to criticise the Murdoch family just days before publishing a report on phone hacking and News International." – Financial Times (£)
  • Michael Gove reveals that Hunt is amazing at dancing the lambadaThe Guardian

> Yesterday: WATCH – Michael Fallon MP tells Channel 4 News that we don't need another inquiry into Jeremy Hunt

…And says Brooks Christmas dinner was a mistake

"Attending the infamous Christmas dinner with Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch at which the BSkyB bid was discussed was a mistake, David Cameron confessed yesterday. However, the Prime Minister insisted he made no 'grand deal' with the pair in exchange for their media empire's support for the Tories. The Prime Minister admitted having a conversation with Mr Murdoch over his father Rupert's proposed takeover of BSkyB at a party at the Oxfordshire home of Mrs Brooks, who is now on police bail in the phone-hacking investigation." – Daily Mail

Whitehall cleaners call for pay increaseThe Times (£)

Shapps and Green target "beds in sheds"

SHAPPS NEW"The government is setting up a task force to tackle "beds in sheds" by acting against criminal landlords and removing illegal immigrants. Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Immigration Minister Damian Green will discuss the problem later with police, immigration and council officials.
Thousands of sheds and outbuildings are rented out illegally, say ministers." – BBC

  • New immigration rules will keep out human rights abusers – Daily Telegraph
  • Heathrow at 'breaking' point as Border Force struggles to cope, leaked memos warn – Daily Telegraph

BBC promises review of explicit sex film for children following criticism from ministersDaily Mail

NHS news 1) reform vote set to open old woundsFinancial Times (£)

NHS news 2) Loophole lets foreign visitors get free treatmentThe Sun

Talks held on proposal to fly Irish tricolour at StormontBelfast Telegraph

Flood chaos to last all weekDaily Express


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